Pre-2000 Bordeaux and Cali Cab Blind tasting-“Big Boy” Wines

The “theme” sounded simple enough:

You are invited to a dinner: BYO California or Bordeaux wines, vintage date before 2000, containing only “typical” Bordeaux varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Cabernet Franc (no Malbec, no Petit Verdot). Wine can be 100% of any, or any combination of the three.

Note: Bordeaux also allows for Carmenere in the blend, but so few use it anymore that it wasn’t even mentioned.

I planned to bring Bordeaux but as I went through the older wines that I had on hand (in the wine keeper) all of them had some Petit Verdot.

Using some knowledge and the Internet I started to dig deeper, finding that this wasn’t going to be as easy as it seemed…

I started with the “BIG BOYS”,  left bank Bordeaux, that generally have a large percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (>70%). If you like California Cabernet you should also start with this list.

The first number is their ranking (from the 1885 Classification) with the percentages of grapes that are planted in their fields. * indicates that it may have Petit Verdot in it depending on the vintage.

3rd- Château Ferrière– Cabernet Sauvignon 80 %, Merlot noir 20 %

5th- Château Grand Puy Lacoste– Cabernet Sauvignon 75 %, Merlot noir 20 %, Cabernet franc 5 %

4th- Château Saint-Pierre– Cabernet Sauvignon 75 %, Merlot noir 15 %, Cabernet franc 10 %

5th- Château Haut Bages Libéral– Cabernet Sauvignon 75 %, Merlot noir 25 %

3rd- Château Langoa Barton– Cabernet Sauvignon 74 %, Merlot noir 22 %, Cabernet franc 4 %

2nd-Château Leoville Barton– Cabernet Sauvignon 73 %, Merlot noir 23 %, Cabernet franc 4 %

5th- *Château Lynch-Bages– Cabernet Sauvignon 73 %, Merlot noir 15 %,  Cabernet franc 10 %, petit Verdot 2 %

5th- Château Lynch-Moussas– Cabernet Sauvignon 70 %, Merlot noir 30 %

2nd- Château Dufort-Vivens– Cabernet Sauvignon 70 %, Merlot noir 23 %, Cabernet franc 7 %

4th- *Château Branaire-Ducru– Cabernet Sauvignon 70 %, Merlot noir 22 %, Cabernet franc 5 %, petit Verdot 3 %

4th- Château Duhart-Milon Rothschild– Cabernet Sauvignon 70 %, Merlot noir 25 %, Cabernet franc 5 %

5th- Château Batailley– Cabernet Sauvignon 70 %, Merlot noir 25 %, Cabernet franc 5 %

5th- Château Haut Batailley– planted with Cabernet Sauvignon 70 %, Merlot noir 25 %, Cabernet franc 5 %

From here I looked at quality and price as well as my past history with these wines and chose…

 Think this was a good choice? Let me know…

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